Tension problems sewing elastic?

I am attempting to sew elastic around a waistband. The bobbin thread is puckering and making the machine jam. I have tried different length and width settings, as well as different stitching options. I do not have a manual for my machine and I am awaiting a replacement one from the manufacturer. In the meantime, do you have any tips for me? I have a kenmore machine. Thanks.

Oh goodness…. shades of my old Kenmore. I remember my machine doing that, too.

I think you’ll need to change your tension slightly every time you sew elastic. I used to have to do that. Mark down the tension settings that are working on the fabric itself so you can switch back to them. Then, go to this page and get a copy of my free tension guide.

Look for the pink/blue example and follow the directions to change the tension until the bobbin isn’t puckering.

Let me know if it helps, okay?

How to tea dye lace

Dear Linda;

I want to tea-dye some lace. Can you help?


Hi Sue!

Sure I can! Here’s what I do. Boil a gallon of water with 4-6 teabags in it. English tea, black tea and Orange Pekoe Black work best. Herbal teas don’t work well at all. If any of the teabags pop, strain it before putting your fabric or lace in it.

Wet the fabric, lace or item that you want to dye before plunging it into the hot tea. If the item may shrink, cool the tea a bit first. Check the item often so you don’t dye it too dark a color. If you dye it too dark and need to bleach it, you risk the bleach giving it a yellowish hue.

Keep in mind, though, that tea contains trace quantities of tannic acid, which (though edible) may break down the fibres of your fabric or lace over time. If you’re planning on an heirloom garment that’s supposed to last five generations, tea probably isn’t the best choice. I do have a tea dyed table runner that’s been fine for over 15 years — but that’s hardly a generational piece.

If you’re looking to dye a garment that you want to stand the test of time, it might be best to use a good quality fabric dye in a tan or ecru shade and test with fabric scraps to be sure you have the right shade.

To help any dye hold better and run less, add a dollop of vinegar to cold water and dunk the dyed piece into the vinegar mixture after you’ve rinsed out the majority of the dye.

; )

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